The release of a recent video that embarrassed Shas prompted senior Shas officials to initiate a letter of support for party leader Aryeh Deri. Members of the party’s Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael Shlita were called upon to sign. However, ‘Chareidim10” reports the head of the council, Chacham Cohen would not sign.
The video was released by Channel 2 about two weeks ago, showing Deri with the unofficial Shas singer, Benny Elbaz in the last Knesset elections using an onion to bring him to tears so he appears to be crying on the passing of the head of the council, HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L.
The report states council member HaGaon HaRav David Yosef initiated the letter, but Rav Cohen would not agree to sign. The report adds that this is in line with today’s reality. For one thing, Rav Cohen made a visit to Hadera a week ago and while in the old days, Deri and/or senior officials would accompany the rav on all visits, Deri was nowhere to be found when Rav Cohen was in Hadera. The same holds true when Rav Cohen two weeks ago took part in dedicating a mikve in Emanuel in the Shomron, named in memory of Rebitzen Cohen A”H. None of the Shas ministers were present, sending a very clear message of disunity.
There was also the recent report in which MK Yitzchak Vaknin stated Deri does how he pleases, without accountability.
Rav Yosef discounts the report but others view it as a breakdown among Shas and its leadership.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)